(If you only do one thing I ever suggest in this life, let this video play while you read the blog. And before you exit out, be sure to catch the 12:30 minute mark for where DMX yells "You think its a game? You think its a fuckin game!? and try to hold yourself back from running through a wall)
Vulture - While going through their greatest hits, including “Deep Cover,” “Where My Dogs At,” “Gin and Juice,” “Who Am I,” and many, many more, the rappers kept the positive vibes and compliments flowing as they went toe-to-toe in Snoop’s studio, often backing each other up on various tracks. At one point, Snoop Dogg, famously from the West Coast, extols the virtue of our very own New York City, saying, “New York has always been the Mecca of rap to us in the West Coast.” “Something I love about you, Snoop, is we can always count on you to kick some gangsta shit,” said DMX. After the two joined forces on Snoop’s “Ain’t No Fun,” Snoop Dogg shouts out the deceased rapper Nate Dogg, who was featured on the track. “Nate Dogg, rest in peace,” says Snoop. “Let me echo that. Nate Dogg, rest in peace. Aaliyah, rest in peace,” said DMX before launching into “Back in One Piece,” his track with Aaliyah. Retired rapper Bow Wow got a more lighthearted shoutout, when Snoop revealed that his former protégé lent his voice to the intro of his track “Gz and Hustlas” at the tender age of 6 years old. If you feel inclined to choose a winner, you can catch the full, two-hour battle on the Verzuz IGTV page below, but we think you’ll have a difficult time picking. All the dogs around the world ate tonight.
I blogged about the Ludacris vs. Nelly Verzuz battle back in May and got shamed for how long it was, so I'll make this one short and sweet.
When this battle got announced about a month ago the buzz was crazy. Two of the biggest rap artists ever going head to head in the biggest Verzuz battle to date. (It drew 1.9 million viewers).
Surprisingly it was also overwhelmingly one-sided in terms of predictions. Everybody said Snoop had this locked up. Easily. Which was surprising. To the tune of 61% in favor of Snoop.
As DMX stans like Clem will tell you, people forget just how many hits DMX has and just how massive he was in the 2000's.
He's always reminded me of Allen Iverson in that regard. Both were around in that weird 2000's era that saw technology explode, but was still pre-social media and round the clock entertainment so it feels neither one of them (and others that peaked during that era) get the recognition and appreciation they deserve. I'm not saying Allen Iverson and DMX weren't unbelievable or appreciated, quite the contrary, they were even better than they get credit for.
And last night he came out the gates flying.
Well actually, flying is the incorrect term here. He showed up looking very husky. Especially compared to vegan Snoop.
Snoop leaned primarily on his first decade-and-change as a hitmaker, where he evolved from a young phenom in the early '90s to a cultural fixture by the mid-'00s -- while the Yonkers native rode his five-year run of absolute dominance atop the rap game at the turn of the century, where he ripped off five straight No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 to begin his career. Snoop played hits from his Doggystyle album for the old school and songs like “Drop It Like It’s Hot” featuring Pharrell for the younger fans. DMX played hits such as “Ruff Ryder’s Anthem” and “Where the Hood At?,” but spared no one when he played jam after jam from his critically acclaimed, It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot.
Highlights from the night -
Round 1: Snoop Dogg's "Deep Cover" vs. DMX's "Intro"
People thought Snoop took this one easily but you gotta be out of your mind to sleep on DMX's "Intro" from It's Dark And Hell is Hot.
I will NEVER forget Mike Tyson getting out of prison, and in his first fight back using this as his entrance song. The bell tolling. The build up. Then DMX's voice dropping in. Man oh man.
Also, love Snoop Dogg but how are you going to leadoff with a song that's somebody else's (Dre) and you're featured on?
Round 2: Snoop Dogg's "Who Am I? (What's My Name?)" vs. DMX's "What's My Name?"
This was great for obvious reasons. I had this one as a tie. Two all time records.
Round 6: Snoop Dogg feat. C-Murder & Magic's "Down 4 My N's" vs. Jay-Z feat. DMX's "Money, Cash, Hoes"
Another banger for Snoop but another feature.
So DMX matched him with a track he was featured on himself.
(sidebar - remember how incredible rap was back during this time? It seemed like every week songs like this were dropping. Nevermind the stuff that was never released officially but were on the mixtapes. DJ Clue, Kay Slay, Funk Flex, Mister C all the big NY guys)
Round 7: Snoop Dogg feat. Kurupt, Nate Dogg & Warren G's "Aint No Fun" vs. Aaliyah feat. DMX's "Come Back in One Piece"
Big lopsided win for Snoop in this round dropping one of the greatest rap/party tracks of all time.
Round 8: Snoop Dogg feat. Xzibit's "B---h Please" vs. DMX "X Gon' Give It To Ya"
Holy shit, remember when Snoop was on No Limit? Completely slipped my mind until I thought back to this video. Also, if you're going to play "Bitch Please" as your track at least play the "Bitch Please 2" version -
Round 10: Snoop Dogg's "Tha Shiznit" vs. DMX's "Get It On the Floor"
Mentioning this round just because "Get It On The Floor" has always been a heavily slept on banger.
Anytime you combine Swizz + DMX it's pretty much guaranteed to go off.
Round 12: DMX's "What These Bitches Want" vs. Snoop Dogg feat. Pharrell & Charlie Wilson's "Beautiful"
This one's a tie. Two amazing slow jams. A lot of couples got to third base with these two songs playing back in the day.
(sidebar - the Neptunes really are from another planet. SO far ahead of there time. By light years)
Round 14: DMX's "It's All Good" vs. Dr. Dre feat. Snoop Dogg's "Bitches Ain't Shit"
Just hit. After hit. After mother fuckin hit.
Round 15: DMX's "Slippin'" vs. Snoop Dogg's "Murder Was the Case"
I know I said I was going to make this blog brief but every round I try to cut out is just too good. Sorry.
(yah that's the explicit version. only took me 20 years to find)
Round 18: The Lox Featuring Lil' Kim & DMX's "Money, Power & Respect" vs. 50 Cent feat. Snoop Dogg's "P.I.M.P. Remix"
Fun fact- Money Power Respect was the first time DMX was ever heard on an official studio release. The L.O.X. debut album predated his by a few months.
This video is NSFW
Round 19: DMX's "Ruff Ryders' Anthem" vs. Dr. Dre feat. Snoop Dogg's "Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang"
Round 20: DMX's "Party Up (Up in Here)" vs. Snoop Dogg feat. Pharrell's "Drop It Like It's Hot"
Of all the features Snoop dropped, how does he leave out "Still. D.R.E."?
Just a phenomenal trip down memory lane. If you got to see Snoop on the Up In Smoke Tour or DMX on The Hard Knock Life Tour then the video from last night is a must watch.
p.s. - I can't be the only white kid that had and still has an unexplainable obsession the the "Ruff Ryders Remix" off DJ Clue's Professional 2 am I?
p.p.s. - if golden age rap isn't your jam, and you are just waiting for the Taylor album to drop, then whet your appetite by listening to the 3 hour T Swift fix I made. (shameless plug)